Respite

Respite
Coole Park, Ireland (taken by moi in 2010)

Introduction:

My Photo
Current: Danbury, CT, United States
Welcome! A few years ago, I discovered an application that artists employ in their works to bring cultural awareness to their audiences. Having discerned this semiotic theory that applies to literature, music, art, film, and the media, I have devoted the blog, "Theory of Iconic Realism" to explore this theory. The link to the publisher of my book is below. If you or your university would like a copy of this book for your library or if you would like to review it for a scholarly journal, please contact the Edwin Mellen Press at the link listed below. Looking forward to hearing from you!

13 March, 2015

Ode to Skunk Cabbage

With the first day of Spring on its way,  I just had to submit this little ode to one of the harbingers of Spring, the Skunk Cabbage as my illustration of the connection between artist and nature.

photo of skunk cabbage from Google Images
                   

Ode to Skunk Cabbage
Bursting forth from its ruddy milieu,      
it erects from its hooded spathe.
This courageous prophet boldly faces
the chilly air with unique confidence, 
guided by a mighty force.
Radiating silently, as if to say,
“Come to me, for I offer
the nourishment you need now,”
his sweetness within calls upon
the daring creature to receive its warmth.
And she responds, and she comes:
the beetle, the spider, the queen bee,
warmed by the generosity 
of Spring’s first.
Odoriferous, proud, protective,
he inspires the fragrant flora
to engender beauty.
Now, Spring has arrived
with the burgeoning
of the exceptional skunk cabbage.

© Jeanne I. Lakatos, Ph.D. 

17 December, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Here's a Christmas poem written a couple years ago after I overheard a woman in the grocery store ardently complaining to her husband that she didn't have enough cloves for her hot mulled wine (as if two bottles of cloves weren't enough!) I think Mary spoke to me personally that day, whispering into my subconscious, "Jeanne, you have to write this.... now!" 
Merry Christmas!

Painting by Andrea Solari, ca. 1507


Eggnog or Grog?
What shall I drink? Egg nog or grog?
What did the Holy Family drink
on that holiest night of nights?
Did Mary lean over to Joseph
after giving birth to Jesus and say,
“Joseph, be a dear and pour me 
another glass of Chardonnay?”
To which Joseph replied,
“Mary, Darling, all we have is 
a little hot mulled wine left over
from the party last night.”

Or…did a father, proud
after such a long trip
offer his bride a sip
of water to give her joy
upon delivering this
beautiful, healthy Boy?

Did the baby cry
in a humble home
and look to his mother,
so beautiful and warm,
reach up, to touch
her swollen breast
and drink of the milk
from the Mother blessed?

Jeanne I. Lakatos 

28 October, 2014

Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan): Revolutionary



Sydney Owenson sheds light on the status of the common man and woman in mid-nineteenth century Ireland and incorporates semiotic structures within her works to communicate with her readers the various discrepancies in legislation, particularly the Act of Union 1801, decades after its enactment. Although inequity in governmental legislation exists internationally, by 1825, the imbalance within the legislative structures is unacceptable to intelligent women associated with the British or the Irish aristocracy along with the increasing numbers of female writers and readers.

For example, in the preface of her essay entitled, Absenteeism, she highlights the need for both the English and the Irish to be mindful of their patriotic responsibilities:

Notwithstanding the intense interest which is felt throughout all England concerning Ireland and Irish affairs, notwithstanding the frequent debates in parliament, and more frequent pamphlets and volumes published on points of Irish politics and oeconomy, the prevailing ignorance on these subjects still operates powerfully in maintaining prejudices the most unfounded and the most fatal, and in retarding those measures of wisdom and of justice without which Ireland can never be happy; or the British Empire secure. [1]



In this statement, Owenson demonstrates commonality between the authority, England, and the respective community of Ireland, as she begins with the phrase, ‘notwithstanding the intense interest which is felt…’ Thus, she engages in the use of negative phraseology linked with passive voice to unite the divergent intentions of England and Ireland.


[1] Sydney Owenson (Lady Morgan), Absenteeism, (London: Henry Colburn, 1825) pp. ix and x. For future reference within this study, the work will be cited as Abs.

09 April, 2014

Dante Alighieri's "Paradiso"

Photo from Google Images

Dante Alighieri’s Paradiso

This week, I’ve placed parallel posts on my blogs with both exploring Dante Alighieri’s final book of The Divine Comedy: Paradiso.

Spheres and circularity dominate the theme of this epic poem. Dante often even imitates the shape of the circle with his words. The Pilgrim and guide enter heaven at the convergence of four circles with three crosses. (This use of seven symbols refers to the seven virtues: 4 cardinal, 3 theological.)

The term "cardinal" comes from the Latin cardo or hinge; therefore, the cardinal virtues (Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude) are pivotal to any life of virtue.In the Old Testament Book of Wisdom, 8:7, we learn that "She [Wisdom] teacheth temperance, and prudence, and justice, and fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life."
In The Republic, Plato identified these virtues with societal classes and thus, the very  faculties of humanity:


Temperance: produces classes, the farmers and craftsmen, also animal appetites
Fortitude: associated with the warrior class and the spirited element in man
Prudence: associated with rulers and reason
Justice: stands outside the class system and divisions of man, and rules the proper relationship among them

The theological virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love (charity), indicate a higher level of consciousness and compassion. Lessons that pertain to each of these virtues repeat throughout the Old and New Testament and within more ancient religious precepts. 

02 December, 2013

Winter Sky

This lovely photo by Tunc Tesel exemplifies my poem below:

Winter Sky
Brisk night air,
unfettered firmament:
the stars whisper
ancient secrets
in this ancient sky,
touching a distant dawn.

Jeanne I. Lakatos© 2010 

22 April, 2013

Boston

Boston Public Garden (photo from Google Images)

Boston

A city
like many others
with Freedom under attack,
but citizens
fight back.

One by one,
they
draw from strength
draw from courage
draw from love
of one another
drawn from God.

Then they withdraw
the venom 
from those who draw too often
from the wellspring
of hospitality.

So, these patriots grow
in strength:
Boston Strong!

Jeanne I. Lakatos   2013